Electrical Soldering




Introduction: Electrical Soldering

Electrical Soldering is the basis of all modern electronics.  Although integrated circuits can largely be manufactured without it, they could not be connected to anything else without soldering.

In short, solder is an allow of tin and lead, with a fairly low melting point.  It bonds to most metals when melted, making it useful for permanently connecting two pieces of metal.

You will need:

The printed circuit board (PCB) that you wish to attach an electrical component to and the electrical component.

Solder.  I used 63/37 rosin core solder.  The tube pictured cost about $1 and has 8 feet of solder, enough for almost any project.   *WARNING* Acid core solder can damage electrical component.

A soldering iron.  These come in many shapes and sizes, but are ultimately, nothing more than a bit of metal, a power source and a heating element.

A wet sponge.  Keep some water nearby so you can keep it wet.

Step 1: Place the Component

Printed Circuit Boards have two sides.  Typically, only one side has metal printed on it.

Place the component with its leads through the appropriate holes (deciding which ones are appropriate is beyond the scope of this instruction), with the body of the component on the side without metal printing, and the long ends of the leads on the same side as the metal printing.  If the component does not stay on its own, bend the leads slightly against the sides of the holes they are in.

Step 2: Turn on Soldering Iron

With the component placed, it is time to get the soldering iron ready for use.

First, be sure it is plugged in and turned on.
*Soldering Irons get very hot.  Never touch the tip or store with the tip in contact with a flammable materiel*

Step 3: Tin the Soldering Iron

Once the tip is heated up a bit, tin the tip by applying some solder to it directly.  Hold a length of solder, and slowly push it onto the tip until the tip is shiny.  The solder should melt and apply itself to the tip quickly.

If you apply enough solder that the tip noticeably changes shape, you have applied too much.  Wipe the tip on your damp sponge to get the excess off.

*Every few minutes, you will need to re-tin the tip.  Generally, if the tip starts turning a blueish-black color, it is time to re-tin.*

Step 4: Heat the Connection

*Warning* Leaving the soldering iron on a circuit board too long can damage it.  Know what you are doing next before attempting this step.

Place the tip of the soldering iron so that it touches both the component's lead, and the metal printing on the circuit board.  Hold it there for about 10 seconds and move to the next step.

Step 5: Apply Solder to the Connection

Apply the solder to the opposite side of the lead as the soldering iron.  If you have applied the soldering iron right, a tiny amount of solder should immediately cover the metal printing and connect it to the lead.  You should use about 1/2 inch of solder per connection.

After the solder is on the connection, remove the soldering iron.

Step 6: Congratulations

You have now soldered a connection!  To finish soldering your circuit board, just put components in one at a time and solder them in place.  If leads get in the way, they can be cut off just above the solder.

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    6 years ago

    I've been sOLDERING for a while now , first I had a very bad IRON made in china , then I bought another one for abt USD$5(500PKRS) its company was suoer , not a very good experience , then abt two days ago I bought a goot original ks60r (60 watt IRON), very better but my SOLDER connections on perfboards are nothing like the videos and pics I've seen over internet !! help me please ! I use 60/40 leaded solder(lead60%/tin40%) of diameter 0.8mm. please keep in mind I have and IRON not a station !


    Reply 6 years ago

    just found the solution!!!! I had been sOLDERING on the wrong side of the perfboard for abt 3 months ?


    Hey DUDE !

    Many many thanks for this short, neat & tidy introduction into electronics soldering, i'm 34 and always wanted to get into soldering and electronics since i left school, wish i would have done it back then !

    Just goes to show that an old Dowg (Me!) can learn new tricks !!

    Again, many thanks !



    10 years ago on Introduction

    Just wanted to point out something,
    when you solder, watch out for the wire you could burn using the soldering iron.
    Exemple, look at the picture 2 of step5, the soldering iron is really close to the wire, and I think the red one started to burn.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    In short, solder is an allow of tin and lead, should be
    In short, solder is an alloy of tin and lead,